Unearthed Arcana Spells & Magic Tattoos: New Unearthed Arcana

WotC has posted a new Unearthed Arcana called Spells & Magic Tattoos. "This document provides a magical miscellany: new spells and a new type of magic item, magic tattoos. Most of the spells focus on an alternative style of summoning: conjuring forth a spirit that assumes a physical form you customize to suit the situation."

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Gadget

Adventurer
I disagree. The Shadowfell has many of the undead, but they are not one and the same. Shadowfell entities are all sorts of gothic horror - think more Ravenloft. Undead could be from the Abyss too – remember that Orcus is the Demon Prince of the Undead, or simply be living dead arising from the material plane.

The Summoning of a Shadow Spirit is drawing forth a planar entity. Summon undead is more similar to Summon bestial spirit - it's a class of beings, but not a planar alignment. This is a bit tougher to explain in 5e since they merge creature class with creature origin. In the past you could have Elemental Demons and Elemental Humanoids and Celestial Humanoids and Fey humanoids and Fey Giants and Shadow Giants and Elemental Giants and Natural Giants… Now planar origin is mixed up with creature type, so elves are not exactly Fey because they need to be humanoids, and Giants are Giants regardless of where they came from…

eh...tomato ta-mato. It was that kind of extensive planer navel-gazing, and rules for all of it, that made 3e tedious. I for one am glad to leave behind the findish, half-vampiric, hulking-hurler troll...of legend behind. I still say they're pretty much the same thing, whether it is from the abyss or the shadowfell, it's still some spooky undead type thing, and that's close enough. But to each their own.
 

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Marandahir

Crown-Forester (he/him)
eh...tomato ta-mato. It was that kind of extensive planer navel-gazing, and rules for all of it, that made 3e tedious. I for one am glad to leave behind the findish, half-vampiric, hulking-hurler troll...of legend behind. I still say they're pretty much the same thing, whether it is from the abyss or the shadowfell, it's still some spooky undead type thing, and that's close enough. But to each their own.

Except Summon Shadow Spirit summons a monstrosity, not an undead entity. Those options are modelled after 5e monsters known as "Sorrowsworn" (from Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes), not like the 5e monster "Shadow (from Monster Manual). It has nothing to do with Undead or Demons. It's a dark reflection of your worst nightmares, not a spooky undead thing.
 

gyor

Legend
eh...tomato ta-mato. It was that kind of extensive planer navel-gazing, and rules for all of it, that made 3e tedious. I for one am glad to leave behind the findish, half-vampiric, hulking-hurler troll...of legend behind. I still say they're pretty much the same thing, whether it is from the abyss or the shadowfell, it's still some spooky undead type thing, and that's close enough. But to each their own.

There is so much wrong with that I don't want even know where to start.
 

gyor

Legend
I disagree. The Shadowfell has many of the undead, but they are not one and the same. Shadowfell entities are all sorts of gothic horror - think more Ravenloft. Undead could be from the Abyss too – remember that Orcus is the Demon Prince of the Undead, or simply be living dead arising from the material plane.

The Summoning of a Shadow Spirit is drawing forth a planar entity. Summon undead is more similar to Summon bestial spirit - it's a class of beings, but not a planar alignment. This is a bit tougher to explain in 5e since they merge creature class with creature origin. In the past you could have Elemental Demons and Elemental Humanoids and Celestial Humanoids and Fey humanoids and Fey Giants and Shadow Giants and Elemental Giants and Natural Giants… Now planar origin is mixed up with creature type, so elves are not exactly Fey because they need to be humanoids, and Giants are Giants regardless of where they came from…

Ghosts can also come from the Ethereal Plane. And really any plane can have Undead, all you need is a Necromancer and corpses. Honestly Summon Undead feels like it should be the Necromancy School not Conjuration because Undead have no unique planes, unlike all the rest except Beasts. Plus it really steps on the Necromancers toes a lot.
 

cbwjm

Legend
To be clear, I am not talking about game mechanics. Just the concept. If you learn magic from study and research in my view / world - that makes you a wizard. It is what defines wizards.

Again, I am not talking about mechanics. I agree that size of list has nothing to do with. However, I think it makes sense for the flavor of sorcerer to have a more narrow focus of magic types, but more variability with that type. For instance, I would love a dragon sorcerer to pick an dragon ancestry, so I sorcerer with red dragon blood would cast only (or almost only) fire magic, but be able to use metamagic or whatever to cast more variations of fire magic (change the shape, range, targets, damage, etc). If feel like there is a lot fiction that supports this type of innate ability restriction. In fact, I think there is more support for something like this than the generalized D&D wizard.

I agree for a wizard, I just don't agree for warlocks and sorcerers. In my view they use magic completely differently. I want my classes to be distinct, not more of the same.
I agree with you about sorcerers. I feel like a storm sorcerer should have spells that are directly related to the storm like wind, lightning, and thunder. I don't limit my players, I have a gold dragon sorcerer with ray of frost for some diversity in damage type, but for the fiction a sorcerer should probably be limited to effects related to their bloodline.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I agree with you about sorcerers. I feel like a storm sorcerer should have spells that are directly related to the storm like wind, lightning, and thunder. I don't limit my players, I have a gold dragon sorcerer with ray of frost for some diversity in damage type, but for the fiction a sorcerer should probably be limited to effects related to their bloodline.
It would seem really weird to me to require multiclassing for a sorcerer to study magic enough to step outside what their blood grants them easily. Especially when part of their thing is having a well of arcane power they can use to regain spell power of change the nature of their spells.

It feels totally counterintuitive for it to be harder for them to branch out than it is for someone who has to work hard to learn magic. If it comes naturally, a smart or hardworking sorcerer should have an easier time expanding on what comes natural.
 

cbwjm

Legend
It would seem really weird to me to require multiclassing for a sorcerer to study magic enough to step outside what their blood grants them easily. Especially when part of their thing is having a well of arcane power they can use to regain spell power of change the nature of their spells.

It feels totally counterintuitive for it to be harder for them to branch out than it is for someone who has to work hard to learn magic. If it comes naturally, a smart or hardworking sorcerer should have an easier time expanding on what comes natural.
It's just how I see a sorcerer's magic, focused around a type of magic rather than having broad access. A good example of a sorcerer the way I see them is Elsa in frozen. Her magic is focused around ice and snow. It would be weird for her to suddenly develop powers where she manipulates fire for instance. The sorcerers and mystics in Dragonlance (prior to 3e) are another good example, they were locked into 1 to 3 types of magic. If your sorcerer could channel fire, earth, and air magic then they would have no ability to branch out into water magic.

Like I said, this is just how I see them and while you think it's weird, I feel the same way about how you think they should be able to branch out into any type of magic. I don't stop players from choosing whatever spells they want, it's just a game, but when you have a very specific bloodline, I feel like your magic is also going to be very specific.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It's just how I see a sorcerer's magic, focused around a type of magic rather than having broad access. A good example of a sorcerer the way I see them is Elsa in frozen. Her magic is focused around ice and snow. It would be weird for her to suddenly develop powers where she manipulates fire for instance. The sorcerers and mystics in Dragonlance (prior to 3e) are another good example, they were locked into 1 to 3 types of magic. If your sorcerer could channel fire, earth, and air magic then they would have no ability to branch out into water magic.

Like I said, this is just how I see them and while you think it's weird, I feel the same way about how you think they should be able to branch out into any type of magic. I don't stop players from choosing whatever spells they want, it's just a game, but when you have a very specific bloodline, I feel like your magic is also going to be very specific.
Elsa is a great example, to me. It wouldn’t be weird at all for her to study how magic works, perhaps seeking out troll sages or whatever, and delving into other forms of magic, drawing on her innate power to fuel whatever she learns.

And using cold magic to fuel fire magic makes all kind of sense.
 

Samloyal23

Adventurer
I like the idea of Sorcerers drawing on a specifically themed force of nature such as elemental power rather than being able to cast any spell they want. Let them have an open spell list like a Wizard and they become to powerful. Wizards need that flexibility to distinguish them from Sorcerers and Warlocks.
 


Samloyal23

Adventurer
Warlocks are given shortcuts to magical power by their patrons, an invocation being a magical stunt that cannot normally be researched and learned like a spell. They are essentially arcane cheat codes.
 




cbwjm

Legend
Elsa is a great example, to me. It wouldn’t be weird at all for her to study how magic works, perhaps seeking out troll sages or whatever, and delving into other forms of magic, drawing on her innate power to fuel whatever she learns.

And using cold magic to fuel fire magic makes all kind of sense.
To you it makes sence, but not to me. I think it would be weird and just have a wrongness about Elsa if she went and learned to throw fireballs around. To each their own though, you prefer a sorcerer with a wide spell base, I prefer one more focused on the bloodline.
 
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Von Ether

Legend
I agree with you about sorcerers. I feel like a storm sorcerer should have spells that are directly related to the storm like wind, lightning, and thunder. I don't limit my players, I have a gold dragon sorcerer with ray of frost for some diversity in damage type, but for the fiction a sorcerer should probably be limited to effects related to their bloodline.

In that I am playing a Storm Sorcerer right now, I found it weird that suddenly I could speak in all for elemental languages but I found out that if I stuck only to Cold, Lightning and Thunder effect spells (thank you Chromatic Orb), my choices seemed super restrictive.

Then I read between the lines that "storm" basically meant any sort of natural disaster/destructive elemental damage like forest fires, tsunamis, and earthquakes.

Either that or the subclass was going to be an elementalist but they had to choose only one (instead of four) special effects and when they settled on the free 10-foot air leap, they named it "storm."
 

cbwjm

Legend
In that I am playing a Storm Sorcerer right now, I found it weird that suddenly I could speak in all for elemental languages but I found out that if I stuck only to Cold, Lightning and Thunder effect spells (thank you Chromatic Orb), my choices seemed super restrictive.

Then I read between the lines that "storm" basically meant any sort of natural disaster/destructive elemental damage like forest fires, tsunamis, and earthquakes.

Either that or the subclass was going to be an elementalist but they had to choose only one (instead of four) special effects and when they settled on the free 10-foot air leap, they named it "storm."
I don't think the subclass was ever going to be a general elementalist. It really is just related to air and storms, the designers have released the other 3 elements as playtest material but they didn't make it into a book (and from memory it looked to me that the stone sorcerer had little to do with earth and stone).

I find that with the storm sorcerer that there are plenty of on theme spells for them, at least at early levels. I haven't looked too hard at higher level spells and I do think that there could be more cantrips, like a ranged lightning cantrip, for them.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
That level 1 acid spell is actually a nice sorcerer-only spell.

I think a bunch of elemental spells that scale reasonably would help make more varieties of sorcerer playable.
 


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